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Gove announces computer science teacher training scholarships run by BCS

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is looking for would-be computer science teachers to take up the new scholarship scheme* announced today by Michael Gove. The scheme, which has the backing of major industry names including Microsoft, IBM, BT, Facebook, Meta Switch Networks and Ocado, aims to help meet the growing need for computer science teachers.

Dr Bill Mitchell, Director of BCS Academy of Computing explains: “Our vision is for every secondary school to have outstanding computer science teachers. We want to ensure students have an intellectually rigorous, inspiring and excellent computer science education that equips them for progression into further education and a professional career.”

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education says: “Computer Science is not just a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject. It is also vital to our success in the global race. If we want our country to produce the next Sir Tim Berners-Lee – creator of the Internet – we need the very best Computer Science teachers in our classrooms. They need to have the right skills and deep subject knowledge to help their pupils.”

Each scholarship will be worth £20,000 for those engaged in an initial teacher training course with the funding supplied by the Department for Education. Around 50 scholarships per year will be awarded and the Institute will also broker mentoring and development opportunities with schools, universities and major employers.

The scheme is intended to be part of a range of activities that nurture future computer science Master Teachers1 who will lead innovation both within their own school and in collaboration with other schools.

Bill adds: “These scholarships are part of a range of activities that BCS, together with our partners, have initiated to support our belief that computer science should form an important part of a broad and balanced new ICT curriculum. The aim is to build teaching capacity in our schools so that the UK can remain at the forefront of excellence in computer science.”

The announcement of the scholarship scheme follows the recent launch of a Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science. This is a joint initiative with Computing At School (CAS) and so far over 500 schools and 17 universities have registered their interest in the scheme. The Network will co-ordinate and provide training opportunities for existing teachers and trainee teachers. Bill continues: “What’s been so encouraging about this initiative is how many people across industry, universities and schools have been keen to volunteer and make this work. This is very much about a bottom up approach, but at the same time the intention is to make computer science business as usual in as many schools as we can within three years.”

The Network has received a £150,000 grant from the Department for Education in addition to generous support from Microsoft, the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC), OCR, AQA and Google.

Full details of the criteria including how to register an interest for the scholarships can be found at: www.bcs.org/teachingscholarships,  http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching

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